Arnoldo Mondadori

Poggio Rusco (Mantua) 1889–Milan 1971. After local and educational publishing (as La Scolastica), founded Mondadori (with Gaetano Franchini printers in Verona) in Ostiglia, but soon moved to Milan. Franchini wanted an agreement with Bemporad, but Mondadori preferred Borletti, to ensure credit and growth. In ’21 Borletti was chairman and Mondadori managing director. Educational books remained, but great authors also came: Brocchi, Panzini, Ada Negri and then, in ’26, D’Annunzio with his Opera Omnia (with the patronage of the King and Mussolini). The take-over of the Secolo in Milan, positioned against the Corriere, started support for Fascism, completed with Dux, the biography of Mussolini by Margherita Sarfatti. This led to a dominant position in schoolbooks in the 1930s. Popular publishing came with Mondadori “gialli” crime stories, foreign fiction, and the Medusa library. The war harmed the company, and in ’43 Mondadori took refuge in Switzerland with his children (Alberto adopted antifascist positions and in ’58 founded Il Saggiatore). The Socialist Mondolfo was commissioner after the Liberation, but Mondadori returned as chairman. The Oscar Mondadori library (starting with Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms) was a huge success during the last years of his life.

Ernesto Teodoro Moneta
Giuseppe Missori